Is Azure Hybrid Benefit Worth it for Managed Instances?

Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) appears to offer great cost savings when pricing your new Managed Instance.

For this blog, I’m going to look at an entry level General Purpose 4 vCore instance.

Starting at we can see that with AHB the price is USD$444.48/month.

Without AHB, the price goes up to USD$736.38/month and the SQL License cost is clearly shown as USD$291.90/month (USD$736.38 – USD$444.48) or US$3,502.80/year.

This means that without AHB we would pay an extra USD$3,502.80/year!

Ok lets take a step back.

To make use of AHB you required the Box product with Software Assurance (SA).

Taking a look at we can see that a Standard Edition (equivalent of the Azure General Purpose Tier) 2 core pack costs USD$3,586 and therefore 2 of these, to get 4 core licenses, would cost USD$7,172.

[1] Pricing represents open no level (NL) estimated retail price.

In addition we require 2 of the SA licenses which would be USD$2,836/year (USD$1,418/year x 2).

This results in an outlay of USD$10,008 (USD$7,172 (Box) + USD$2,836 (SA)) for the 1st year to allow use of the AHB.

So based on the above, when do you break even if using AHB as opposed to not using AHB?

Just over 10 years, which is the standard life cycle of a Boxed product!

4 vCoresAHBNo AHBSavingsRunning Total
Year 1 10,008 3,502.806,505.206,505.20
Year 2 2,836 3,502.80(666.80)5,838.40
Year 3 2,836 3,502.80(666.80) 5,171.60
Year 4 2,836 3,502.80(666.80) 4,504.80
Year 5 2,836 3,502.80(666.80) 3,838.00
Year 6 2,836 3,502.80(666.80) 3,171.20
Year 7 2,836 3,502.80(666.80) 2,504.40
Year 8 2,836 3,502.80(666.80)1,837.60
Year 9 2,836 3,502.80(666.80)1,170.80
Year 10 2,836 3,502.80(666.80)504.00
Year 11 2,836 3,502.80(666.80)(162.80)

In summary and based on the above; if you have SA then yes use AHB and keeping renewing the SA for as long as you can. If you are starting with the need for new licenses, then using AHB doesn’t make sense.

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